Communal Care

During the West African Ebola crisis, why did the number of new Ebola cases drop long before an international response deployed? And why did the decline first occur where the epidemic began? Anthropologist Paul Richards believes the answer to both questions is that communities were relying upon experience and common sense – not outside assistance – to learn how to control the disease.
In interviews with villagers in affected communities, Richards learned that official government warnings and outside experts provided little practical assistance during the crisis. Instead, those interviewed said that communities observed infection patterns and effective treatment measures and adapted to control the disease as much as possible.
Source: IRIN

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